When Christine heard
that he'd tried
to hang himself
in the men's crapper


desperation bells
began to ring
inside her head
then she saw him


on the locked ward
sans laces
or belts
or anything


he may use
to repeat
the performance
and he sat


in the big chair
his eyes dull
and his hair untidy
and with that loose hanging


dressing gown
minus belt
and in pyjamas
like some


Auschwitz guy
and she said
what the fuck
you in here for?


sitting in the armchair
next to him
broken heart
broken love


lost love
soul crashing
through all gears
to get back


to base
who knows?
he said
like that huh?


join the club
for what it's worth
we're all fucked up here
like driftwood


on a lonely beach
on some deserted island
she said
he gazed at her


as if a gnat
had landed
on his hand


they lock
the doors here?
sure do
all the time


what about visitors?
once a week
he looked at her


at her dark
long straggly hair
her dull eyes
why you here?


he said
some fuck
left me
at the altar


all dressed up
like some nun
in white
she said


he must have been
mad to have left you
he said


well he must be
because he did
an Indian woman


sat crossed legged
at her toes
a red spot


on her forehead
in long gowns
of bright colours


a plump woman
walked by smoking
eyeing them


foul mouthing
the nurse going by
so how long
you been here?


he asked
week or so
how long you staying?
until they say


I can leave
when will that be?
when they think
I’m better


or cured
or able to be
balanced again
when will that be?


how the fuck
do I know
she said


about the language
anger gets
to my tongue
before I do


you're not going
to hang yourself
again are you?
she asked


don't know
who I am any more
don't know jackshit
about myself


whoever myself is
she nodded
looked at his
handed in slippers


the scar
on his left wrist
not your first time then?
she said


touching the scar
guess not  
he said
welcome to Purgatory


she said
he sensed her finger
on his scar
the female touch


he wanted something
whatever it was
to hold on to


so very much.

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